Winter Solstice: Honoring the Return of Light
As the hectic holiday season arrives, you may want to consider taking a moment to honor the winter solstice this year for a peace-infused, spiritual reset to rekindle the light within. And the weightier part—no purchase required!
On December 21, winter Solstice occurs as the sun travels the shortest path through the sky giving us the longest, darkest night of the year. Solstice happens twice a year, (winter and summer) and marks the word-for-word moment that one of the Earth’s poles is at its maximum tilt.
We wits winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere while our friends in the Southern Hemisphere wits the Summer Solstice.
Celtic and Pagan in origin, winter Solstice, moreover known as “Yule” or “mid-winter” has been prestigious for centuries as a rebirth of the sun. It was revered as a impetus of unconfined resilience to endure the dark, unprepossessed days surpassing the sun’s radiance returned once again. The promise of Spring’s life force, fertility and zillions brought faith and hope inside the winter’s barren, visionless times.In Latin, “solstice” translates into “sol” meaning the sun, and “sistere” meaning to stand still. For an astronomical moment in time, the sun stands completely still. Symbolically, we too can honor a sacred pause within our own being. We can sit peacefully, soften to receive our breath, and light a candle to spark the flame of our true nature. We can release the desire to do more, require more, and be more. We can literally and metaphorically connect with the universal zenith of winter solstice by aligning with the reciprocal nature of duality: our inner self to outer self, giving to receiving, and darkness to light. We can vivify rituals of letting go to release glut and imbalance of the past year. We can ignite the flame of inner peace and undeniability forward our fresh inspirations for the coming year.
When we honor the seasonal wheel of the year while reflecting on our personal cycles and process, we are reminded that we, too, are unfluctuating to a universal life gravity that is generative and wildly transformative. Celebrating the Solstices and Equinoxes can deepen our connection to mother earth, our communities, and our life journey. Seasonal rituals are like mirrors, reflecting to us what has shifted, what is of value, and how to source true inspiration from within. The multi-tasking mind can pause, reflect, and recalibrate into a frequency of clarity and positivity. The past gets reviewed, and the future becomes spacious. We finger less overwhelmed, and instead increasingly centered and intuitive. Through Solstice’s sacred pause, we can go vastitude the mundane of self-limiting narratives and discover greater meaning and purpose in life.
Winter solstice is a time to requite thanks to the sun for making it return once again. It’s a time to take nothing for granted. Honor the farmers who grow your food. Celebrate zillions and volunteer time or requite to those in need. Send out warm blessings of compassion and love to your friends and family, to the earth and the sun for the sustenance you receive daily. Give thanks to the plants and animals for contributing to a healthy ecosystem. And know that by showing up and honoring the solstice, you are aligning with radiant souls wideness the globe who are doing the same.
Winter Solstice Ritual to Release and Renew
This winter solstice you may want to create a personal ritual or share one with friends and family to discover the magic inside this light-fueled alignment. Like many of our siblings did at Solstice, we can gather virtually a bonfire, or candles to welcome in the return of light. Set your intention to receive the light and warmth fully, fire is a potent teacher of transformation. Write lanugo the habits, cycles, or patterns in your life that no longer serve you. You can shrivel the paper as a symbolic cleansing and visualize these energies leaving your soul and mind. Then take some time to be in stillness and silence. Now write lanugo what you want to bring forward in the coming year. Connect your intentions with how you want to feel, and let this upspring from your center, not your mind. Requite to the fire what you are welcoming in. Visualize yourself once there. If you can see it, and finger it, you can create it. Journal well-nigh your wits or share with a trusted friend.
Winter Solstice Journal Prompts
- Reflect upon 2022, list all your personal accomplishments, your perspective shifts, and the personal wisdom received.
- What seeds did you plant in 2022?
- What is growing in you now?
- What is releasing or transplanting out of you now?
- Is there any current difficulty, stress, or repeating patterns in your life?
- If yes, what daily ritual or practice can support personal transformation?
For example: For 7 days, I will replace opening my phone in the morning with a short gratitude meditation.
- In what ways do you want to focus your energy in 2023? Choose one word, or guiding stressing for the year ahead.
Winter Solstice Affirmation
I honor the visionless within.
I honor the light within.
I soften to release limiting cadre beliefs and unsupportive deportment within.
I rekindle the flame of radical self-love and deep-rooted compassion.
I trust in my journey and share my true nature with the world, unapologetically.
Mara Branscombe is a mother, writer, yogi, artist, teacher, mindfulness leader, ceremonialist and spiritual coach. She is passionate well-nigh weaving the art of mindfulness, self-care, creativity, mind–body practices, and earth-based rituals into her life and work, and she has been leading polity recurrence since 2000.
An venturesome spirit, Mara has sailed wideness the Atlantic Ocean, trekked wideness the Himalayas, studied yoga in India, planted trees in Canada’s north, lived off the grid in a remote motel in the woods, worked as a Waldorf (Steiner School) teacher, and then found her passion for flit and choreography. All the while yoga, meditation, mysticism, and ritual have been at the heart of Mara’s journey. Her trainings in the Incan Shaman lineage and the Pagan tradition have profoundly inspired her life’s work of earth-based, ceremonial, intentional, and heart-centered living and loving.